Nothing robs a man of his colorful destiny than hoping someday things will get better without an intentional plan and strategic action. Hope has its place in the pursuit of any dream, but it should be kept in perspective.
No one gets healthy by hoping to be healthy, it takes a healthy diet and regular exercise to stay healthy. No one gets rich by hoping to be rich, it takes planning, investing, saving and strategies to be wealthy. Hope! A virtue we all share in common. The rich hope, the middle class, the poor, everyone hopes. But what is the missing link between hoping and accomplishment? Why would everyone hope for a better future and some have it while others don't?
Hope has its place and it should be kept in perspective. There is a clear distinction between hoping and planning and that’s the missing link for so many. Hope would give anyone reason to believe tomorrow would be better, but planning will take you step by step towards the better tomorrow. Hope without strategic action and plan is an illusion. It would be self-sabotaging to keep hoping without planning.
Don’t put your future on hold hoping that someday things would get better, yes, it might, but that would be leaving your success to chances. Put hope in perspective, hope can serve as a fuel to your pursuit, but if you are passive about it, it can also hold you down. Hope has the capacity to keep a lazy man happy, an ignorant man excited, and a mediocre mind motivated. The future does not only rest in the arms of hope, but the future would also become a reality through strategic planning, action, faith, doggedness, persistence, and prayer.
Take some time out to ask yourself: What are my current goals and what are the steps being taking towards their accomplishment? Don’t be fooled by hoping, be action-oriented and result inclined. It’s good to keep one’s hope alive because without it there would be no drive of pursuit. However, hope is not all it takes to make a dream a reality.
Keep your hope alive, but remember it takes more than hope to live the future you dreamed of.
Percy Ross once said “You’ve got to ask. Asking, in my opinion, is the world’s most powerful and neglected secret to success and happiness.” People are afraid to ask because they don’t want to look needy, foolish or stupid. They are afraid of experiencing rejection. They are afraid of hearing the word No. The sad thing is that they’ve actually rejected themselves in advance. They are saying no to themselves before anyone else even has a chance to. Never assume people will not help you until they personally say so. Don’t underestimate the power of asking.
Don’t assume that you are going to get a No. Take the risk to ask for whatever you need and want. If they say no, you are not worse off than when you started. If they say yes, you are a lot better off. The universe is filled with endless options for you. Whatever you would like to have is yours for the asking. It can be about relationships, finance, career, freedom or anything. The most important thing is that you take the time to be very clear about what you really want in your life before you ask the universe for anything.
Many people ask and they don’t get what they ask for because they don’t ask with the right expectation. Ask as if you expect to get it. Ask with a positive expectation. Don’t live in pretense. Be humble enough to understand that there are things you will never have until you ask for them. Don’t let your ego trick your brain, men can sometimes be egotistical. They overvalue who they are not and undervalue who they truly are. Asking for help does not reduce your value neither does it reduce your worth. In fact, asking for help shows a sign of maturity and humility.
Try as much as possible not to be vague in your request. Vague request produces vague results. Be clear and specific about what you are asking for. Even when all odds are against you, go ahead and ask with a positive expectation. If you cannot beat the deadline, ask if you can be specially considered. Successful people ask for help, average people ask for help. It doesn’t make any difference. Ask with confidence and boldness, the worst you can get is No.
Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask for details, ask for help, ask for information, ask about the terms and condition, ask for samples, ask for alternatives, ask for Terms of reference, ask for the previous record, ask when ask how ask where and ask why? You have nothing to lose by asking. In a study on problem-solving, it was discovered that one of the best ways in solving any problem is by asking ‘Why’ in five times. Why, why, why, why and why! Consider this case study.
Problem: I am obese – Obesity. 1st Why: Why am I obese?Answer: Because I eat junks and don’t exercise.
2nd Why: Why do I eat junks and don’t exercise?Answer: Because am too busy at work and hardly have time to eat healthy
3rd Why: Why am I too busy that I don’t have time to eat healthily?Answer: Because I don’t delegate and others can’t do it as perfect as I can.
4th Why: Why do I think others can’t do it as perfect as I can?Answer: Because they have not been trained to, and they don’t have the wealth of experience I have.
5th Why: Why were they not trained and employed when they lack the necessary experience for the job?Answer: ???
The ‘why’ can be more than five, but it is preferable to stop at the 5th why to avoid the analysis being clustered. Every answer provided is a solution on its own to the problem. That is the power of asking why. Ask for answers even when you think you know it. What you think as the answer might have become obsolete and outdated.
Every invention was invented by a curiosity in the mind of the inventors. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web by asking the question of ‘Connectivity’, Mark Zuckerberg co-invented Facebook by asking the question of ‘Social Interaction’, Charles Darwin propounded the evolution theory by asking the question of ‘Human Existence’, Isaac Newton propounded the law of gravity by asking the question about the possibility of ‘an object staying on the air and why they fall’. Curiosity is the mother of invention. However, every curiosity starts with the willingness to ask.
A study in marketing shows that most sales are made after the fifth call to the prospective buyer. To be successful you have to ask, ask, ask, ask and ask. Ask why the team is not meeting its target. Ask why the children are so wayward, ask why you are not financially independent, ask why you live in that environment, and ask why you took that job. Asking some few questions about your life brings more clarity to your journey to success.
Don’t stop asking. Information is the key to transformation. You have nothing to lose you only have more to gain. Ask about government allocation for SME in your country, ask about government grants, ask about college fund/loan, ask if your interest rate can be negotiated and ask if you can get the property without a down payment. No question should be tagged foolish, silly or stupid.
Creative mind gives birth to creative questions. Ask, ask and ask. Ask your boss or manager how you can be more productive and add more value to the organization. Ask about your competence level and work evaluation. Ask your spouse how you can love each other the more. Ask about his/her needs; ask how you can create a balance between work and home and how you can create a more harmonious environment.
Ask if you can negotiate the price even when the price tag is boldly written on it. Remember, you’ve got nothing to lose. In his book, Think Like a Billionaire, Donald Trump wrote
“You should also feel comfortable bargaining for goods and services. I do it all the time, and I’m one of the richest men on earth. Even in the high-end shops, I bargain. After all, the more you are paying for something, the more the seller should be able to shove off the price. I hate paying retail, and it makes me cringe when I see other people doing it. I’ve walked into stores and offered $2,000 for a $10,000 item. It can be embarrassing for me (especially since everyone knows that I’m Trump and that I’m wealthy), but you’d be amazed at the discounts you can get if you simply ask. You do have to be willing to walk away, but after you’ve walked away a few times, the price will come down. It’s moronic to be too proud to save money.”
Ask, ask and ask. Ask your friends and close associates about your strength and weaknesses, gift and talents. What do they think you are good at or what you are worst at doing? Remember, you’ve got nothing to lose. Dare to ask, ask with boldness and positive expectation.
At a certain point in our lives, we've all been indecisive about certain things be it, ideas, decisions, proposals, or actions, we over-analyzed and as a result, we find it difficult making up our mind. In the archive of an indecisive person, the following phrases are sure to be found, "Let me sleep over it. Maybe. Am not sure. You decide. I will think about it. Am still thinking about it. Give me more time. to name a few" Oftentimes, I call this "analysis paralysis." When the stakes are high, we often find it difficult making up our mind, but when our indecision becomes repetitive, it starts becoming a pattern.
At the center of every indecision is fear of the unknown, the willingness to know an outcome before taking the step. It was Martin Luther King who said, take the first step in faith, you don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step in faith. Do you know that not taking a decision is still a decision of no decision? There won't be a need for faith, risk, prayer, or God's intervention in the cause of man if we all have a sure predicted outcome of all our decisions.
Isaac Newton's first law of motion states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. Which can also be loosely translated to be "Our life will remain at a constant state of rest, or uniform motion, unless decisive actions are taken or plans are put in place. " The external force sometimes may be making up your mind to take certain steps or actions. When the stakes are high, we always find it difficult making up our mind, and when we are open to too many options, we have the tendencies to be indecisive.
Indecisiveness makes you vulnerable, it projects a lack of self-confidence, poor self-image, lack of self-respect, poor self-esteem, and overly dependence on external validation. I have seen people stuck in a job they don't like, a relationship that is detrimental to their well-being, a conversation they resent, all because they are being indecisive about walking away or taking their stand.
So then, how can we overcome indecision?
1. Use the 10-10-10 rule in decision making: Ask if what you are deciding on would still matter in 10 minutes, 10 months or in 10 years. The longer the benefits of the decision, the better the chances that the decision is really worth taking.
2. Equip yourself with adequate information: The quality of information at your disposal is directly proportionate to the quality of your decisions. More information gives you better insight, a more informed perspective on your decision. Get yourself abreast with all relevant information that will help you fine-tune your thinking process in making up your mind.
3. Write down the pros and cons: Think of the benefits and consequences. Ask, what is the worst case scenario and can you survive or live with it? Yes, there are no guarantees that things will always turn out the way you planned them to turn out, but you wouldn't want to live with the regret of wishing you had tried or make an attempt. Take time to think about your decision or choices through, but don't get stuck at thinking. Be proactive and take a bold step.
4. Seek Counsel: Success leaves clues, so also does failures. Reach out to those who have once taken similar decisions you are about to take. You will learn more from others mistake, than learning from your own experiences.
5. Trust your gut feelings: There is no absolute certainty that things will turn out exactly the way you've planned, sometimes you just have to trust your gut feelings and use your instincts. Ecclesiastes 11:3 quote "If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything."
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